FORT COLLINS - For many classrooms across Colorado, exploring new ideas is nothing new. And for Poudre High School senior Olivia Brett, exploring these ideas in her classroom transfers into opportunity.
“It’s allowing kids to explore ideas and careers that may have not been presented otherwise,” said Brett.
Careers that are in high demand in Northern Colorado, where manufacturing jobs are a key part of their economy. Jobs that Technology Education teacher Josh Weissman says are tough to fill.
“Business partners are coming to us saying there is a shortage of skilled, expert level technicians,” said Weissman. “There’s so many job openings available right now that we can’t fill the demand fast enough.”
That’s one reason why the school has received a $35,000 grant made possible by the Colorado Education Initiative and local industries. Funds used by the school to help purchase manufacturing equipment and giving students hands-on experience just like the professionals in the field.
“These are high tech jobs, these are high wage jobs that are in demand,” explained Angela Baber, STEM Director of the Colorado Education Initiative.
She says this grant will give young people a chance for success.
“To insure that students had access to the equipment that they would need to really get the right kind of skills and understand the career and opportunities across a number of fields,” said Baber.
A grant giving this school a chance to give each student an opportunity to create their own career path and making it easier to plan for their future. Planning that students like Junior Eli Josephs are grateful for.
“We have so much technology that’s available to the students…it really helps,” said Josephs.
Help these teachers want to see transfer into student success and a lifelong career.
“To make this world a better place and they are going to do it, I believe it,” said Weissman.
The Colorado Education Initiative says that by 2020, the demand for STEM professionals is expected to add 1 million new jobs in the United States. Colorado is home to one of the fastest-growing economies among all states.
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